Portia and Bassanio  Richard Parkes Bonington
Portia and Bassanio - R.P. Bonington

My dearest, as I promised you last week, I am sending you another musical postcard from my holiday spot. Many songs mention it, sometimes explicitly, and sometimes more hidden, like the song I am suggesting to you. The verses will be familiar to many of you, while the song is one of the most unknown by its author, Francis Poulenc. If I'm not mistaken, it's the only one he wrote with a poem in English; the occasion was worth it, considering the verses are by Shakespeare.

On another day, I'll tell you how Poulenc wrote this song. There's not enough space on the postcards to write, but I jotted it down to make sure I didn't forget about it. For the moment, enjoy Fancy, this beautiful little song Poulenc composed in August 1959; our performers are Ann Murray and Malcolm Martineau.

Greetings from...



Tell me where is Fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply.

It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and Fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring Fancy’s knell:
I’ll begin it,—Ding, dong, bell.


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